Forums  /  ESA 2016  /  ESA16 Feedback Thread (Locked)
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Hi! 🙂

As usual we'd like to offer you the chance to give your feedback on ESA. I'd like to pre-empt before we begin about the first couple of days of streaming. We know it was a rough start and there'll be a separate statement published shortly.

When you write your post, it would be an aid if you can consider the following areas specifically:

Experience as a runner (selection process and actual run time)
Experience as an attendee (arriving, checking in, venue, cleanliness, etc),
Experience volunteering at tech or hosting,
Experience of accomodation (be it your hotel or mass housing).

If you watched at home,

Your experience of the stream (see note above ^_^)
Your experience of the donation tracker,
Your experience as a chat mod
Your thoughts on the overall standard of runs on display, any major highlights and anything you thought was underrepresented

And of course any other area you can think of!

In the coming weeks we'll be reviewing the event and your feedback will help shape next year's ESA.



Trollbear666Trollbear666, maralmaral and 2 others like this. 
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As an attendee/runner, I had a lot of fun overall and I'm glad to have attended the event. I do think a few things are questionable, I'll stick to the main positive/negative things:

+ great atmosphere
+ room upstairs w/ jumbo controllers, very good place to relax & hang out
+ a lot of space, i liked the arena setting, reminded me of LANs i used to attend as a teen
+ good communication at the event as far as i'm concerned, someone came to me a solid half hour before the run to warn me and set me up
+ hotel (Scandic) was good
+ met a lot of nice people (although that's sort of irrelevant to a feedback thread)

+/- Lack of stock of consoles you can lend to runners so they can practice. You did tell us in advance we would need to bring consoles or find someone to lend us one so it was obviously not a big issue, but it was still not very easy to practice before the run for me & other players.
+/- headphones were meh

- Location. The arena itself was great as far as i'm concerned, and I have nothing against Växjö, but the lack of "real" international airport is a big problem imo. I wasn't coming from too far away so taking a 2h30 train after the plane wasn't a huge issue, but considering some players come from far away, a direct airport is a must-have for an event like that imo.
- Food at night: the only option for hot food at night was some horrendous hot-dogs in the lobby. It's particularly annoying for the runners who actually have a run during the night and can't get anything before or after their run.

pr0tepr0te and maralmaral like this. 

Good thing I just started the shoutouts thread. I can just carry on xD.

I'm going to skip the runner bit because Ooze was way too easy to run. Remove former runner's cartridge, add mine, change controller, done xD

As an attendee, I think using the Fortnox Arena worked out very well, especially the main hall. I liked the overall design of the place with tech, runners/couch/hosting/restream (i.e. general stream), viewers' couches (wow, so comfy!), with a set of two more huge TVs for everyone to see and then a large casual/practise area just behind that. Plus the arena feeling we had and the opportunity to watch from above (where watermelon gaming was). A suggestion for the future is somehow implementing a big projector like we had in the House of Culture in Skövde. However, I was made aware that the big screen thing above tech is unsuitable because it has a tiny resolution. Don't extend the viewing TVs upwards, though, they were already almost too large to see people well behind them …
Also, the showers were great, assuming people didn't just randomly let them lock themselves after they left! >:C I don't know how many times I had to look for the chip at tech because I couldn't get to my towel and nobody was inside …
Slightly less perfect was the use of the second hall. Mainly, it was just a huge empty space with Guitar Hero in one corner, a heap of TVs in another (and FFIX <3) and Mafia players in a third. Room for improvement here.
The fact that a LAN party would be happening on the final venue could have been communicated better. No offence about the thing in general but I did have a kind of 'okay now what's this?!' feeling when I was surprised by how the hall metamorphosed overday (or -night to me).
The venue was slightly lacking chairs in my opinion. Especially finding enough for Mafia was challenging. And sometimes you would find a TV to practise on but no chair in close proximity. Not sure if there is anything that can be done about that, though …
I'm not entirely sure on the cleanliness. As always, I didn't notice lots being untidy but I never did in the previous years either. That's probably because Tompa and all the other house-elves did their job so well (and will complain now). The difference between pant-bins and non-pant bins needs to be communicated better. Which none-Swede actually understood Burkar och PET-flaskor? (If that is even spelt correctly …) A sign 'bottles and cans only!' maybe with the addendum 'check for pant!' and the pant symbol would probably go a long way.
It was a bit weird that we didn't receive the wristbands until the first day after setup, but I'll buy it since there was lots to do on setup day.

The kitchen/fridges situation was awkward. If I recall correctly, there had been notes beforehand that there are no fridges on-site and no kitchen appliances available. Except we had microwaves and fridges in the watermelon-gaming room that were obviously used (but would in no way have been enough for all people). Clarification on allowed/disallowed would be great.

Next year needs more food deals with surrounding restaurants. I.e. more 10 SEK vouchers for Max and actually a reason to go to the pizza place. But if they are in any way businesspeople, they will notice that themselves 😉
The Northern Sky kiosk should not advertise selling Baguettes if they cannot sell them. I had hoped for them.
Not sure if the arena kiosk will consider opening for longer next year. I missed out on its kanelbullar, since I was sleeping when it was open. It could be a win-win situation.

Mass housing had the issue of the toilets' lights not being turned on on day 1 and that a far too small area had been supplied with floor mat thingies. I don't know if it's a good idea to just put your air matress on the sprinting ground. On the upside it was nice and close (albeit not as close as in 2012 xp) and nice and dark. (I personally can sleep well in the light, too, but some have issues with it.)

Hosting. The couch idea and runner interview idea was brilliant. The initial lack of mics wasn't but tech had more important stuff to deal with. Not all runners were aware that they were invited to a post-run interview; I think that needed better communication. From what I saw, hosts did a rather good job of trying to keep people as entertained as possible during the longer setup breaks which is definitely a good thing. It's also great that the hosting schedule was a thing and worked more than it didn't. However, for next year seriously consider using time slots rather than game slots — like tech did this year. I don't know if I just missed a general host briefing session at the beginning of the marathon, but all who signed up for hosting and have already arrived should be gathered together before the stream starts so knowledge about how things work can be distributed better.

Växjö was a nice place to be in, all that we needed to buy could be bought at Samarkand not too far away; there were working ATMs there, so generally a nice place. However, we need proper directions to a swimming lake next year for the true ESA feeling 😉

maralmaral likes this. 
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So I attended and hosted, which means I did everything but run a game. Anyway, I'll just go through everything that I dealt with rather than doing pros and cons:

Venue (Town) - I had no problems at all with Vaxjo, the fact Maxi's was the size of a decent supermarket and had a deli where you could get decent (albeit cold) food was a godsend, and unless you were running pure nocturnal you could probably have something different to eat every day. There wasn't much to do in the town directly, but I suppose that's what the marathon itself is for.

Venue (Mass Housing) - The part where the lights didn't work in the toilets on day 1 was so funny it basically overrode any sort of inconvenience. My main issue with the place was that it was really, really cold. I was going to bed fully dressed and then waking up with a chill because those giant metal doors were letting in a draught and someone propped open the main door with a breeze block. It was extremely close to the venue though, and besides the one problem that everyone I talked to knows about at this point, it was 'okay'. I'll probably get a hotel next year though but that's more for extra privacy and convenience.

Venue (Arena) - I'm not sure how much I can really comment on this since we managed to set up "the swamp" and then essentially bunkered down in there for the entire marathon. But I did like the idea of everything being run out of one room, and then a couple of side rooms for eating, messing around, playing games and so on. My main issues were:

There was no big projection of the marathon, which meant we either had to invest in a pair of binoculars or watch the stream online even though we could HEAR the hosting going on (which at one point meant we were getting an echo of Spike's hosting when we were trying to watch). Oasiz explained why that big screen couldn't be used, but a projector would've been nice.

Secondly, and this is a rather weird thing. I wasn't a fan of the arrangement of the tables. Rows would cause pretty bad congestion and prevent people from seeing games in front of them. Maybe an inward facing square with a few gaps might've been better? I don't know.

Finally, there was no live schedule anywhere that I could find in the venue. Just as an idea I had, one could've been printed out, put near the hosting station on a wall and then above it wrote how many minutes or hours to take away from the time. I mean you could look online, but still, it's a bit weird. Especially since hosting station had its own schedule, albeit one with the times not on it.

Venue (Side stuff) - ESAGame room was really cool, those controllers are still fun to play on. The Legend guys selling board games are the nicest people I've ever met and we got a lot of fun out of that as well, seriously they are the most based people alive.

Lanyards - Good idea, not the best execution. The photo fiasco leading into some people not getting emails and having to send a photo might've caused quite a few people to not get pictures, also the fact we got them a few days into the marathon wasn't great either. Besides that, I really liked them, though paying extra for them might've rankled some.

Commentating - This was fine and it was just literally "Do you want a headset, okay here you go.". I know seeing chat isn't for everyone so I was cool setting it up for the runners who wanted it.

Hosting - Oh boy.

Shoutouts to the guy who was hosting during the Harry Potter run for showing me nearly everything I needed to not become a total imbecile at hosting. Shoutouts to Soezee for being really cool to hang out with for several hours at a time. And thanks to Spike and Jinny for taking over for us.

Everything seeming to be run out of Discord was...not very good. Soozee had no idea she was hosting with me until she got to the venue, and we had no idea WHAT we were hosting together until someone got out their phone and went onto the ESA Discord and showed us. My interviews not being trainwrecks due to them either being with people I know or someone I could talk about professional fighting games with was an amazing stroke of luck considering I had no pre-marathon prep time.

The schedule being offset to the extent that my hosting block got pushed from 10PM to 4AM and then to 6AM after I woke up at 4AM (due to the PAL SNES delay) was so bad I don't even know what to say.

Receiving conflicting instructions from tech on two separate days wasn't great. (Wait for the scene to switch vs Stop the interview asap) But I heard hosting will get to hear tech next year so that might resolve itself.

Interview part was fun regardless, though that might be because I lucked into good interviews.

Other stuff - So we don't get fooled again. Just please release a schedule that indicates exactly how post-marathon stuff works, since all we got told was "Stream stops on Friday/Saturday, doors close on Monday at noon" when in fact the following happened:

Saturday morning - Stream ends, bonus stream begins, packing away slowly begins
Saturday evening - Swamp told to pack away
Sunday morning - Bonus stream ends. Main power is cut(!) at around 10AM, everyone essentially relocates upstairs or to the main entrance room, we chill out and watch Asylum shit or play games with remnants.
Monday morning - Told to leave the arena, doors actually close around 8AM (so four hours earlier), we sit outside for two hours and then go to Pizza Hut because sitting in Mass Housing is not preferable in any way..

If we knew Sunday would be so completely weird and Monday would actually end 4 hours early people might have booked earlier flights. I know it's asking a lot, but it would be insanely helpful,

Besides most of that stuff I enjoyed it though. I think we were just a bit down at the start Tompa.

Adam_akAdam_ak, AlkoAlko and 9 others like this. 

I had a lot of fun at this years ESA, this was the first year I didnt have a run in the marathon so I could enjoy the whole event from a more laid back position.

The people - I pretty much liked everyone I interacted with at ESA, everyone was open and except for a few moments, I was never bored.
The Swamp - Comfy room for swampy people, was happy that this was alright with the staff.

Växjö - I liked being close to several supermarkets that were open till 22:00. Also more fast food stuff closer to the venue was alright.
Venue - It was alright, I liked that the board games fellas were there. Rest was okay, nothing really negative.
Lanyard - Pretty Gud, had some problems but I think these problems can be avoided next year.

Hotel - Scandic was a shithole, I got a 4 person hotel room and it turned out to be a two person sized room with 2 bunk beds in the wall. No room to place any clothes or stuff out of the suitcases and there was no goddamn fridge. Also getting a note on the door saying they will evict you if you make noise between 22:00 - 6:00 is not helping the cause. I am fine with them saying they got some complaints and want us to keep quiet a bit more but threatening to move people out is a really dumb thing to do, will probably not go back there next year because of this.

Venue side stuff - It was a bit weird that the kiosk was more expensive than the front desk, drinks 15 SEK instead of 10 and etc. Other than that, some notification about the LAN party happening beforehand would have been nice, it was weird to see a shitload of kids suddenly in the B hall playing on their PCs without anyone from the event knowing what the hell was going on. Also chair shortage.

Post Marathon - So the marathon ended on saturday morning (bonus in the evening) and the event lasted till monday. Why was everything cleared out sunday morning? We still had at least full day to go. This doesn't mean that all the cleaning up should be done that monday morning, but it would have been better if it was more spread out. Now sunday felt like a dead day with not much to do on it (had fun though, but still).

Location - 2-3h with train from the nearby airport to Växjö was annoying, I'd prefer it being closer to an airport or in a city that has one. Now it wasn't so bad for me because my travel time was still doable, but I can understand this is a major turnoff for a lot of people who need to travel from far away. That being said I will probably go by car next year, expensive, but more in control.

Växjö - Yep, even though I praised that food and stores were nearby, the location of the Fortnox arena was still kinda bad. There was nothing in the area to do, getting to the town center takes around 25 minutes on foot and the train station was far away from the venue (thank fuck for the free bus drive with the train ticket though). Also what was up with the retards in shitty modified cars at night?

Sweden - Seriously, I really started to hate Sweden this year, restaurants and shops close goddamn early (exception for supermarkets this year), trains are a massive pain in the ass to get tickets for and public transport is asssssssssssss. Though I feel it wont happen I would like to see ESA 17 in another country (like Germany).

CerethCereth, GoostGoost and 3 others like this. 
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Well, I just went to enjoy the marathon during Friday because that was the only day I could afford this year for my first time inside ESA, so I have fewer to say instead of others :

- As runner, that was probably the saddest performance I did. I was ready to expect any problem to happen during the Limbo race, like skips going wrong, or lack of focus while commentating. I just didn't expect at all my laptop can't be used, and that the settings of the main one were so dark I got the bad surprise to see after 20 mins that major elements of the game were invisible, hidden in the shadows. This new RNG was so stressful that I didn't have the idea to stop the race to change the brightness quickly. And that made me decompose little by little, fighting to save the run the most possible 😕

- As attendee, that was really cool for the first time. Couchs everywhere to appreciate the runs comfortably, I met some runners, and obviously, Watching runs with mates has a really better taste than doing it alone on Twitch. Mass housing is really fine for weak wallets.

Even if the race went bad, and I didn't have time to appreciate the entire event, I'll try to come back next year, with or without personal run on schedule.

maralmaral likes this. 
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So as an attendee only the event was amazing and now I can't wait for the next one.

+- The location was awesome, while I'd rather have it in Stockholm, Växjö was easy enough to get to.
+ Fort Knox was a great venue, I loved the LAN setup.
+ Scandic was great.
+ The Lanyards were nice, I wish I'd got the email about the images but things happen.
+ The hoodies looked so nice, I wish I had bought one.
+ I love the bonus streams, please keep doing them.

- End of ESA confusion, I think a lot of people thought that we would pack up Sunday evening, this could have been communicated better, maybe plan some light activity after cleanup or just a post ESA celebration just so that people remaining don't end up with absolutely nothing to do.

- The LAN, I think it's super cool that this was arranged, however, it could have easily been integrated with ESA, the room was for non stream related stuff and was almost empty, we could easily have shared that space, I overheard people who were disappointed that they couldn't play rockband for example.

- Stream Layout, took way too much real estate it really did not need that much space dedicated to things that were not the game.

- Bad computers, I lent my computer to one of the runners because the ones supplied didn't even run his game, I understand that you can't supply consoles for everybody, but carrying a PC from home is not something everyone can do. It would have been good enough with a single PC reserved for runners to practice on.

- No big projector, almost impossible to see the runner from the audience and bad sound made actually watching runs on site not as good as it could have been.

- It ended, should have gone on forever 😡 , the worst!

Also a suggestion, a food truck might be a good idea, I was on a demo party that had an all night food truck parked outside and it was gold.

maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this. 

Experience as a runner (selection process and actual run time):
The selection process was good, but it can still be done faster and more distinctive with less babysitting. Take a note on GDQ on this one where they are almost brutal with 6 weeks from first submission to final schedule. You don't have to be that rough, but right now it feels like submitting in february and knowing if you are in by may is a long wait and still by then its not even a sure deal. Also I'm still not entirely sure about forcing people to mention all other racers when you requesting submissions so early. Not everyone can make plans to show up for a race 5 months ahead.

As a runner, it was okay, I had an hour wait to get Yume Penguin started, but my experience of Mega Man was good. I really liked the Donation blinking sign and the fact you were kinda relaxed with how and where runners where sitting. I know I sat down in a weird angle close to a TV for Mega Man, but no one seemed to be bothered by it and tech adjusted accordingly, which felt nice. Overall tech still felt a little lost at times, they knew the basic things, but once something didn't work as thought, it quickly spiraled into confusion. The TVs used for the runners wasn't the best ones for some reason. The best TVs seemed to been in the practice area, a bit odd.

Experience as an attendee (arriving, checking in, venue, cleanliness, etc),
The couches was a real nice touch for watching the runs, albeit audience sometimes felt like a little more spread out than necessary. Also the lack of a screen in front of the runner or to the side kinda made for weird viewing angles if you were watching from runners row. I especially noted this when I watched the Ducktales race and following nudua on the right side was impossible because I was on the left side in front of the TVs. Of course I could have sat behind the runners and watched the TVs, but that would have been the same.

Experience of accommodation (be it your hotel or mass housing).
Best Western was okay, bit far from the venue, nicely located downtown.I learned to take the buses to and from the venue and other places, so it wasn't a big deal at all.

maralmaral likes this. 

This was my 2nd time at ESA this year, and I can say that I enjoyed it a lot.

+ Everyone was incredibly friendly, just like last year. I found that I was able to talk to more people this year than last year, partly because of Mafia but mainly because I felt less shy.

+ The arena was the perfect location for an ESA. Loads of space for both a practice area and the stream itself in the main hall means I didn't miss out on many of the runs I wanted to catch (I did miss on some, more on that later). The giant controller room upstairs felt relaxing (despite me playing some of the least relaxing games there). Props to the Bumperball team for allowing us to play in one of the nearby stadiums.

+ Speaking of which, the side events, multiplayer games and competitions throughout meant there was always something to do over there, There wasn't a single day where I felt I did absolutely nothing... almost.

+ My run was an absolute trainwreck. That's a plus because people really enjoyed said trainwreck and I felt that if I actually did well then X-Men: Mojo World would have been a lot more boring to watch. Shoutouts to RoboSparkle for winning the race.

+ I absolutely love the idea of interviewing runners after their run while the next run was being set up. GDQ should take notes.


- The location of the venue meant it was a wee bit too far from town. I only got to properly explore Vaxjo properly after the event was completely over. That's a moot point however because I personally felt that apart from the shops and food places there wasn't an awful lot to do in Vaxjo. Lovely town, though.

- B-hall wasn't used to its full potential. Did my Rock Band setup scare people off? (Great to see people playing Rock Band/Guitar Hero).

- My run was still an absolute trainwreck BibleThump

maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this. 

Decent for a marathon

maralmaral likes this. 
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I want to start this by saying that i feel that a lot of these feedbacks are a bit too nice considering this years ESA. I completely understand the effort, that everyone who is involved in organizing has to put in, but at the end of the day it is important to communicate clearly what went wrong. What are bad developments and what are good ones. Because i fear that ESA started to go on a path that would lead to a very different ESA from what we learned to love.
For me personally this years ESA felt a lot worse in quality than for example 2014 and 2015 for a various amount of reasons. I also spoke to many people who have attended previous ESAs, who feel the same. I will not call out any names because they might still give a feedback. I strongly encourage everyone to do so even if you disagree with me.

I will start by listing a few things i feel would improve a lot of things that went wrong this year:
- Layouts: simple layouts are okay but it is not okay that most of the layout is taken up by the camera, game title and timer. All things that could be way smaller without compromising anything, while the game play is the important thing and thus should be as big as possible while still including the other necessities.

- Setup: I feel that a longer time to setup everything stream wise and all around it would be very beneficial. Also as an attendee it is nice to have a day to settle before everything starts. I am aware that unofficially it was possible to be there a day early but it was never a "real" option for many people. I also think that a longer setup time would solve a lot of the problems that showed up right away when the stream started. (the audio problems both on stream and hosting, tracker, layout problems, etc)

- Stream PCs: since i personally only run shitty games i usually don't have any problems with this but i heard a lot of things by multiple people about how the PCs are either barely good enough or not good enough to run their modern PC games. I understand why Etholon did not want to bring his PC this year, like the last ones, but i feel that at least one killer PC is necessary for all the modern games.

- Communication: A direct communication between Runner - Tech - Host would be very beneficial. This year the first connection was established a few days into the event and i was told about plans of the last one. Some poor unmentioned heroes tried to solve this by constantly being around Tech/Hosts to communicate between them, but it really is a terrible solution. I do want to emphasis this because a communication at all times between all three of these would solve a lot of silly small issues that also appeared this year. Additionally it would eliminate the need for "Donation!" and "Tech ready" light signs if used properly.

- Hosting: Hosting will definitely switch to Timeslots rather than Gameslots. Additionally it needs to be made a lot clearer that anyone can host a game they want to, especially if they are familiar with the game and/or the runner, since familiarity usually leads to a better hosting. Besides that it needs to be communicated clearer before the event that every runner has the option (not requirement) to do a post run interview. In general having an actual schedule for it is a very good improvement, since last year there were many times where nobody was at the hosting station at all.

- Venue: while the arena in itself is an acceptable venue, i think the venue if one takes location into account was a poor choice overall. Last year convinced with a 1 Minute walking distance between venue and train station, while this year it was closer to 30 minutes if walking with luggage. (i am aware of the busconnection but they are not always an option, for example Noobest arrived later on Sunday and there were no buses driving at that time) This also means that if one wants to go into the city for proper food, lake or just to see whats there, they have to walk about 20 minutes.

- Mass housing: a big step up in terms of distance to the venue compared to last year. Originally it was supposed to be in Hall B and ended up being in another location close by. In hindsight i agree that this was the right decision but not for safety reasons and rather for space reasons. The venue just doesn't have enough rooms if hall b was used for it.

- Price: I always felt that ESA tried its very best to make the event affordable as possible and thus trying to negate the fact that it already is in quite a poor location in Sweden. Which leads to an increase in traveling costs. This year however the Price for the event, if one also chose to stay at mass housing straight up doubled compared to last year. Roughly 50 Euro to 100 Euro. While this is still fairly affordable, i see it as an alarming development. I also hope that the income and spending overview of this year gets published soon, since i don't want to speculate about certain things costing certain amounts.

- Last days: I am glad Chucat already mentioned this, because this was a big annoyance. It is not acceptable that once again people where kicked out multiple hours before the venue was supposed to be closed. Both in the Arena (4 hours) and even in the mass housing (1 hour). I think these kind of things can and should be correctly communicated way before the event. For next year i would never consider to stay the last day again simply because of this.

I also want to highlight what i thought were really good developments compared to last year and should (if possible) be kept:
- Couches: the couches behind the stream were an extremely good idea and led me to actually watch a few runs for once since it was possible to comfortably sit on them.

- Bonus Stream: The bonus stream has finally returned again. While only being slightly more than 24 hours it certainly was at least something. Both Attendees and Viewers seemed to greatly appreciate this.

- Cleaning: Having cleaning staff at the venue is definitely an upside.

- Lanyards and T-shirts: Lanyards are a decent idea but were poorly executed. Starting with the requirement of real pictures and names all the way to arriving way to late. T-shirts were available from the start and are always a nice memorabilia. Not the biggest fan of the design but still nice.

To Summarize this giant wall of opinions i want to say: Find better/new venue, increase communication in every aspect and try to keep what makes ESA great at heart, the people.

NordNord, YvathacalYvathacal and 7 others like this. 

First time at ESA.

- Arriving: The arriving was great, I'm from Denmark so it was only a few hours with the train from CPH Airport to Växjö. But the Venue could definitely be closer, 30 minutes on feet is a long way.

- Checking in: Went absolutely fine. I arrived at the event, and got instantly checked in. T-Shirts were ready, but the Lanyards were not. They should be given out there.

- Venue: The Venue was also great, a lot of space. Especially great with the small rooms for the side events, and a good look over the hall.

- Cleaning: Really nice that there were someone to clean. There was some troubles with one of the cleaners, who just was angry all the time. Maybe it was just a bad day.

- Mass Housing: Mass Housing was okay, but it could be hard to sleep because of people snoring. But yeah, that's hard to avoid. It was great with the toliets there, so you didn't have to go over to the Venue again. But I didn't like the walk over to Mass Housing. In the night when you had to go over there, it was really cold. I would more prefer Hall B.

- T-shirts and Lanyards: The T-shirt was really nice, I love it! I requested a lanyard, but did never recieve it.

- Runs: Runs was really nice to see, especially the Wario Land 3 run. But I'm definitely not a fan of 6 hours run. Not because I didn't want to see it, but it's a long time to wait for other runners. Also I think that there could be more great runners at that time.

¨- Food: The biggest problem was that there were no good places to eat, without walking for 30 minutes. The supermarket was really great, we found some food there. But you don't want to walk for 30 minutes and then just find expensive restaurants or burger restaurants. Most you could find around the Venue was Mcdonalds and Burger King, Pizza etc.. I can't eat Fast Food, so that was a big problem for me. So if there could be some sandwiches next year at the Venue or just close.. That would be great!

Overall it was just great. Met a lot of people, and had the best days of my life. Definitely a event we'll attend to next year.

maralmaral likes this. 

- As a runner

Selection process is way too long. I'd recommend something similar to SGDQ 16, with ~2 weeks for open submissions, followed by no more than a month until first draft schedule. It'd help with some of the expectations and multiple cuts just feels useless.

Disclaimer: I know this next comment won't change anything. I'm still going to say it.
I loathe headsets. They're too tight. They're too bulky, they're too obnoxious. I wear glasses and have large ears, and they never fit right. Having a mic sticking out in my peripherals sucks when I'm trying to play a game in an unfamiliar setting.
This was exacerbated by having game-audio only through the headset for a race, leading to not hearing tech, hosting, or my opponent, which was fixed later with 1 touch of a specific button on the tech rack. (I "fixed" it by not wearing the right earpiece).

- As an attendee

People are slobs (so am I sometimes) and Tompa is a saint for helping clear out cans, snack bags, etc when they built up too much. Other than that, the venue always felt reasonably clean and didn't smell terrible. Ticketing, check-in, etc was fine. Having the kiosk for drinks and snacks at the info desk was amazing. The actual arena one with different foodstuffs was something I didn't use for much except for coffee and soda, so I don't really have a strong opinion on it.

The layout of the main hall was good enough, though most of the TVs seemed to be playing musical tables while the attendees were playing musical chairs. (Trying to find/rent more chairs strongly recommended). Stream area was comfortable.

- Tech volunteering

I won't do it again unless there's a clear instructional element to it and at least a little time to learn/practice before having to do it live. And by "won't do it again" I mean if I were to sign up and then the educational section didn't happen, I'd inform people immediately that I wouldn't be doing those shifts. Obviously there were some issues this time that made it a bit time constrained. Scheduling was very fair though.

I can't emphasize enough how good it would be to have most of the older consoles in the number required tested and ready to go with the runners providing cart and controller. No guessing about cable quality, sync, etc. Yes, there will be oddballs, but those should be the exceptions. Then, as a tech volunteer, you can grab the NES/Famicoms, cart adapters, cables, and power and go set up the run.

Aspect ratio and number of screens to be captured (for co-op runs) needs to be part of the submission so we know ahead of time and can prepare for the next setup.

For the runners that showed up in plenty of time for their runs, thank you. It made things easier to cope with as a volunteer who was admittedly mostly stumbling through it all.

- Accommodation

I didn't have any problems with Scandic, but hindsight makes me wish I had booked at Royal Corner and rented a bike, as there were a few more food and drink options downtown that I preferred over eating at American fast food chains (just feels terrible to do in Europe when you're an American).

Niss3Niss3, maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this. 


it was also my first time at ESA and I would like to give me feedback here 🙂

Venue: I actually liked the venue. It was big, and comfy and the idea to have the practice area in the same room as the actually streamarea for really cool. Because even you had a boring run during the middle of the night, there was always someone 😃

Hotel: I stayed in Scandic and I have to say it was okay-good. The hotel staff was really nice and helped me when I had problems. The room was okay nothing glorious but for the fact that I needed it just for sleeping it was okay. The breakfast was probably the worst thing. Even the breakfast was free it wasn't really good (e.g. pancakes or salty bacon was salty). Not sure if I just had the wrong food, I don't know. After all the hotel was okay and I probably will stay again at Scandic 🙂

Växjö / Food: I thought Växjö was a lovely place even it remembered me of a Zombie Town, cause there was no one on the streets at a certain time WutFace . I also liked the fact that there was an airport in Växjö and i had the change to use it. The distance between hotel and venue was okay. I thought it would be shorter and after a few days my legs started to hurt really bad, but i get used to it OpieOP About the food situation in Växjö: I don't know why so many people are complaining about it. There were enough options to go and not too expansive. Next to the venue there was the pizza place which had banana-ham pizza Kreygasm and the Max Burger-Place which wasn't to bad either. Inside the mall you had a big supermarket where you could buy food and there was this buffet place where you could eat for 95 SEK (~9-10€). Also Pizza Hut and Mc Donalds on the way between hotel and venue.

The event as an attendee:
It was a really great event and I loved it that there were enough place to do own stuff, like for Hall B where we did our FFX Randomizer Race OpieOP and to be fair I wasnt there for the actuall stream but more like for the people i couldn't see until now 🙂 I also liked that every attendee goot a T-Shirt for free! PogChamp and a hoodie if you wanted too 😃 I also liked the laynards but hated the shitstorm before and that we got it after a few days 😕
What i actually disliked that there wasnt not enough space to watch. First of all there was this big screen in the mainhall. So even people from the last row could watch the stream on the screen. If it would have worked. I don't if there wasnt event a possibilty to do that and that i just dont worked. Also the fact that the TV's were you could watch the stream weren't available on the first days. Also more chairs would have been better 🙂
But shoutouts to the shedule team. The Variation of runs this year was awesome SoBayed

The event as a runner:
It was a pleasure to run "The Addams Family SNES any%" at ESA and i would do it again. Everything during the run was good (except for my running skills OpieOP ). Everything before the run was a bid shitty. First of all the submitting phase/cutphase: No big complain just maybe next time one phase less (e.g. GDQ just had the final cut OpieOP ).

Then the thing about the time switching. I know its hard to say "Your run is at that time" especially with all the issues that we had but it was completly bullshit. On the Day before my Run i was supposed to run at 1pm (delay becaus of tech issues), after that we went to the hotel room to watch animes 4Head then i found out my run is at 9 am (because some other runs got swapped). When i went to bed/woke up my run was at 12 again... Not really good, especially when you have parents who would like to watch you ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last but not least a very special feedback. It's not about the actual event but I think I can put it in here anyways, since it's kinda part of ESA - the restream. And I'm talking about the german Restream in particular. I don't wanna complain about what they are doing but mostly about HOW they are doing it and here is why. I did a run at ESA and since I'm from Germany I'm also interested in the german commentary, who caused the problems I have. First, they didn't ask me if I know people to commentate for them, they just picked random people from their team AFAIK (they even declined the offer of guest commentary by a friend of mine who definitely knows the run). And when I asked about their knowledge, some guy told me that he is gonna commentate and he's watched the run twice, took some notes and knows how to commentate it. EXCUSE ME? So you're telling me you are able to commentate a speedrun just because you watched an unexplained WR attempt of it, especially since neither my PB nor the WR explain anything on video. And during the actual run, someone else commentated and had no idea of the whole thing. They only watched the WR video and got really confused by "my route" (even though my route was the exact same as the WR, but pssssst). I mean even if you are confused and don't know what to tell, maybe, uhm well, just translate what I say? But no, most of the time consisted of apologizing for being confused. Oh, and speaking of translation, it was probably hard because "You really hear that he is from germany". That is a straight up insult, even it is true. And the completely bs commentary made me really salty, sad and angry. If anyone is going to ask why I am complaining about this (just in advance) - Who, if not me? OMGScoots That was very unprofessional and not worthy of me or anyone else and don't worry I watched other runs as well it was the same shitfest. Just wanted to leave this here.

Anyways, besides that, ESA was a total blast of experience and the best thing I've ever did. It was a pleasure do be there and I already booked my ticket for #ESA17 Kappa

wait there is no release date yet? DansGame

Anways good job everyone and see you next year SoBayed

maralmaral likes this. 

Second year attending.

Experience as a runner:
The game selection for this year was good, I like how you'll find some more obscure games at ESA that you would never expect to get into a GDQ for example. I did however feel that the way cuts was handled this year was annoying for runners. It is in my opinion better to cut more games earlier on in the process so runners know what to focus on. This year very few games were cut in the first round which kind of defeated the purpose of having multiple rounds of cuts. I also feel there was a problem with communication about the second round of cuts. I got the impression that most things that got past second round of cuts would get into the marathon and that second round of cuts was basically the final round. I think there was a statement somewhere along the lines of "From this point onwards we will mostly just cut some games in a series.". Turned out that the cut just before scheduling was the real final cut, which I think is too late for a final cut and made it hard to decide what to focus on.

As a runner at the event I was lucky to run an older PC title which worked fine on the PCs provided. I also had the opportunity to bring my own laptop. I have to add thought that some of my friends who ran some modern PC games really struggled to get practice in becuase of the practice PCs provided being really old and in no condition for playing modern games on. If you host a marathon with PC speedruns you need to have a way for people to practice their runs. I was part of a 4-way PC race, which of course involves a lot of setup. We were prepared and got the game running on the PCs while the run beforre us was still going on. Mixing up PC runs and console runs in the schedule was good to allow runners to setup while the run before was still going on. Sadly there wasn't four identical PCs (which is usually prepared for PC races becuase of hardware differences) so I had to play on my laptop, not a big deal really but it would had been nice. The weird thing I felt as a runner and that I also noticed for other runs was how tech didn't seem to be able to do much setup until the run before was done. Tech seemed to just sit around until the run before was done and then start with setting up the next. This in combination with what seemed like a very complicated setup made seup times very long. Most of the setup in between runs seemed to be to get sound working from both the game nad mics to both the stream and the runner headsets. With such a complicated setup there must be a way to do more of the setup before the previous run is over. I also felt there was a lack of communication between tech and the runners. For example we were never properly asked about if sound was working out in our headset and for me the balance was way off so I could basically only hear myself. Someone from tech even started the countdown before anyone checked if we were ready, so we didn't actually realize we were going and had to restart.

I also got to take part in an interview on the hosting coach which worked out well. I like the idea of having interviews between runs to give viwers something to watch while tech is finishing up setup. A lot of times when setup was taking too long the interviews just dragged on for way too long and became boring and annoying to watch. There is nothing wrong with cutting from the host to the setup screen and in most cases that probably should have been done earlier. Have to say I really Like the idea of making the donation reader more of a general host with a specific area devoted to it. Sometime the camera for the hosting was poorly positioned though and sometimes there was audio issues with the hosting station as well, which I think goes back to tech being busy setting up the next run. Maybe need a special tech person to handle tech for hosting?

Experience as attendee:
I like the selection of Växjö as a city, I like how ESA usually happens in some smaller cities that still have everything that you want as an attendee. It seemed most people had an easy time getting to the city as well with good connections to copenhagen. Getting to and from the venue itself was also fairly easy with just a bus. The venue itself was alright, I think it was nice having such a big space for the main area and I'm not sure if the second hall was even needed. I wish that would have been used for mass housing instead, as was first planned. Becuase of Sweden always having the worst heat of the entire year during ESA the air got pretty bad in the venue during the first couple of days. Having a venue with AC is definitely to prefer in the middle of the summer. The location of the venue also felt a little bit off. It was quite far to get to the city-centre. Having the mall as well as different food places was good though. It would had been nice with at least some place nearby that was open 24 hours a day, since I usually ended up wanting to eat at the weirdest hours of the day. It would had been nice with a full actually working kitchen at the venue as well, so you could properly cook your own food. Also I wish there would have been information about the existing refrigerators, since I only figured out we could use those as late as the last weekend.

Arriving and getting your wristband worked out really smooth. It was really nice having a reception that always had someone working and also selling some snacks, soda and hotdogs. I think this was a good improvement from last year.

The venue was generally very clean and it didn't feel unfresh. The only thing that seemed poorly looked after was the showers at the venue (that were used by people at mass housing).

One of the biggest issues as an attendee in my opinion was how hard it was to watch the stream. I do understand that the first days had issues with the TVs arriving late but I still think there were a couple of bad decisions. First of all I don't like the idea of only showing the stream on a couple TVs in front. This made the stream area much more separated from everything else that was going on in the main hall and you had to actively walk over to the Tv to see what was going on on stream. I really liked how last year you could just look up on the projectors to see what was currently happening. I very much prefer using projectors or some other way to show the stream on a really big screen. Another thing that I would very much like is to have the stream output somewhere in front of the runner, instead of behind them. There are two reasons for this: First of all it allows for the runner to know that he's on cam on the stream and allows him to see his time and such during the run. Second, and most important, it makes for a much better experience for people watching the run next to the runner. The way things were setup this year you basically had to choose between sitting close to the runner and not seeing much (I guess you can see fine for console runs, but for PC runs most of the screen was covered up by a DXRacer chair) or sitting far away in the back and watching one of the TVs. Having the stream shown somewhere in forin of the runner would make for a much better experience when watching and I think it would bring the stream area more together.

I'm aware of some issues around the first days being pretty much outside of the organizers hands, but I think these problems showcased another issue. I felt there was a lack of communication between organizers and attendees. When I arrived there were a lot of things that wasn't at all the way I expected (to be explained by things missing at the time) and I had a lot of questions. I wish there would have been more information about what was happening. When nobody knows what's happening weird rumors start spreading and people start blaming the wrong people. If shit is fucked, let us know. It would have been fine to just put out a message in the discord. I also realized that basically all of main organizers also were the main tech guys, which makes the event in general suffer even more from tech problems. It might be a good idea to have someone as a designated event host who doesn't have anything to do with tech.

I was staying at the event until sunday afternoon, cuase I read the doors closing at monday. The last caouple of days mostly consisted of moving TVs and packing down things and wasn't very exciting so I think it could definitely be better to clarify more how much of the event will still be going on after the stream ends.

A general thing for tech that I felt influenced the stream quality a lot was that many times it felt like tech was hardly watching the stream. Sometimes things were really poorly cropped and multiple times commentators mics were muted, but this wasn't fix for entire runs. Even when runners themselves was saying "I don't have game audio" tech didn't seem to hear this. I think there might be a need for designated tech guys for dealing with things like audio, since it seemed to be a constant issue.

Experience of accomodation:
I stayed in mass housing which worked out pretty good. The sleeping area was nice and silent and ket a good temperature even when it was really hot outside which I really liked. Bathrooms were fine excpet for not having any light the first day. It was a little bit annoying that you had to walk quite a bit to get to mass housing though, especially since it felt like there would be some faster way to get there going through some other door. The reason it felt far away (it was waaaay closer than last year) was mostly because when i signed up for it it I expected mass housing to just be in the second hall at the venue. I dislike changing things around like that after people have already payed money for it. The only annoying thing about mass housing really was showers not being as the same building which basically meant you had to walk back and forth multiple times to the venue when you wanted to take a shower. Mass housing was in some sort of indoors arena so I would be very surprised if there wasn't any showers closeby.

As always ESA was fun cause I got to meet a bunch of cool people, but sadly I feel this year lost some of the magic because of poor quality with stream and long tech delays. I think there will be a lot to take away from this year and hope for a better event next time.

Also for the organizers I think it's important to not be scared to ask for help. I know there is a lot that goes into making an event like this happen. We have a wondeful community of people and I am sure a lot of us would be glad to help with more than we currently do.

maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this. 

My experience as a chat mod.
A feedback story by trollbear.

+ Communication between mods 👍️
- Communication between mod and tech/host station

Communication was lacking this time. Last year in slack there was a hostPC and techPC. I missed those this year.
What was good was fatzke updating people on discord about schedule changes. This way we could react to it (like tweets).
During some runs (most at the start) the title+game auto update didnt work, so I changed them manually in moobot. It would have been nice if someone would have said that it didnt work and ask if mods/someone with moobot access could take over till its fixed.
Being on discord as a modrule was good, this way we could get fast in contact with each other in case there was something. Having Logviewer also helped out to check t/o and bans. Mods also tried to keep up the constant tweets of upcoming games. We had a bit of downtime with tweets iirc so having people from more different timezones might help (please apply next year 😉 ) (+ would like feedback if people liked the tweets btw, we tried to premake them before the event)

Well twitch chat is still twitch chat. But during bonus stream someone added a picture of donald trump to the stream. making twitch chat going into politics. Politics was someone we had to t/o so this wasnt helping. During this time a few mods were taking shit from chatters just because they were following the rules.

Sometimes the layout was being weird. and the four player race/coop layout didnt seem it was made for it. Also a bit more gamespace would be good as someone stated. But it was cool to see the couches behind the runner (sadly sometimes you could see it being empty).

I think this would be it for my feedback.
So please improve the communication lines for next year.
Try to not trigger twitch chat to much with bad stuff (a few memes are okay but putting a trump on stream no thanks).
And I hope tech has more set-up/test time next year.

Greets trollbear. 👍️

maralmaral likes this. 

A lot of the points here are either already known by the organisers (I have talked to Planks/Edenal about a few things already) or are kinda obvious, but I want to get them down here so I have a record of them.

As an attendee/runner/tech volunteer:

+ Setup day was fine in terms of not getting wristbands etc IMO, it was already made clear beforehand that it was not a day that everyone should be showing up to and that only people willing to move stuff and help set up should come along to the venue. In terms of the actual length of time needed for setup, I feel there should have been an extra day in order to be able to test the setup and make sure all the equipment was there. A lot of the Dreamhack stuff just wasn’t there until days later. I’m not sure if that was due to a miscommunication somewhere, but something to be worked on as a whole.
+ The atmosphere of the whole event felt great. Basically anyone that wasn’t actively hosting/running/doing tech was approachable and friendly and I didn’t meet anyone that wasn’t genuinely great to be around. Not a piece of feedback for the overall event organisation, but still important for a community-focused thing.
+ It felt like there were enough CRTs. I never had any issues finding one, even if I did have to sit somewhere away from people that I was having a conversation with.
+ Attendance fees were so, so cheap considering the length of the event and the cost of putting something like this together. I know it’s more than previous years, but to me it’s still an absolute bargain for over a week.
+ Wristbands. Sturdy enough to survive the event and beyond, small and light enough to make me entirely forget I had it on after a few hours. Definitely a good choice to go with fabric for them.
+ There was basically always a head tech guy or two around. This was probably due to the number of tech issues we had during the stream, but I’ll talk about those later.
+ The couches around the stream area were great. Comfy and had a real sense of friendliness about being on them. Would recommend doing that again next year. The corner couch especially worked well for the hosting area
+ The T-Shirt and hoodies are great. The NES guys may complain about the buttons on that particular part of the T-Shirt design, but they can shush. 😛
+ The actual games selected were a good mix. Thanks are in order for having a decent amount of Master System and Genesis games, something that has been severely lacking in GDQs.
+ Massive shoutouts to the people that went around tidying up. I saw Tompa pretty much constantly at it and it made the whole atmosphere of the event much nicer. English labelling on the bins would have helped people know what stuff goes in which one, though.
+ The Northern Sky guys were great. The kiosk was always manned for late-night energy drink/cola requirements and they were always really friendly. Really helped during the tech slog.

~ The tech schedule was mostly stuck to. A few people didn’t show up for their shifts for various reasons, which is an issue when things are timetabled for everyone being where they are meant to be. That said, people did generally stick around when that happened, so there weren’t any times where there was nobody on tech.
~ The location of the venue was pretty meh in the end. It wasn’t so far away from everything that I ever felt I couldn’t go into town, but something slightly more central would definitely have been preferred.
~ Scandic felt like a motel. I stayed in a twin room so didn’t have the issues the guys staying in 3-4 person rooms had, but to have the noise notices stuck up on all the ESA guys’ rooms when it was a minority making noise was a big problem and really soured the mood. Next time I think I’d rather stay at Royal Corner.
~ The game selection process really didn’t need 3 rounds of cuts. The length of time it took to know whether a game is in or out was kinda long, but it wasn’t too much of a problem for me personally as I was planning on attending regardless of whether I got a game in.

- Chairs. There just weren’t enough at the venue at all. It felt like a constant battle to find one that wasn’t being used. Definitely get/rent more for next year.

I’ll split the tech issues into bullet points, as doing them all in one would just create a massive wall of text. I spent a considerable amount of time around the tech station, so this might be more in-depth than needed or wanted.

¤ OSSCs: The OSSCs ended up being a massive disappointment when it came to the setup we had. The capture cards were consistently losing sync with them which made them basically unusable.

¤ Nobody was given a chance to learn the setup before their shifts on tech. This led to a lot of situations where the main option for getting something sorted ended up being “Ask Planks”. While Planks is definitely great at sorting stuff out, it led to him getting massively sleep deprived over the course of the marathon. Not great. Definitely something that needs improving for next year, some sort of video tutorials on how to use the racks and setup would be a great first step.

¤ Audio levels. For the first couple of days, at least, audio levels were a bit of a mess. Even further into the marathon the hosts’ audio levels were often too low. I suspect leaving hosts in control of their levels was a mistake given they were not instructed in how to manage that side of things. Audio when it came to adverts was also not great, first not having audio at all from them and then blasting peoples’ ears out. That did improve later on, but shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

¤ Anyone that watched the stream knows that the setups were far too long in a lot of cases. Batman in particular was the worst of the setups in terms of length. This ties in a lot with my next point.

¤ Reliability of the capture setup was just not there. Things were constantly breaking it seems, and we ended up being down to one capture card that we could use for anything that wasn’t straight through HDMI capture. Major changes needed here.

¤ Communication between tech and hosts needs to improve, in that 2 way communication needs to be a thing, rather that just having a “tech ready” light. Being able to tell the hosts they’ll be on in x seconds or that the game is going to take x minutes to set up without having to physically run over and tell them would be a massive improvement to start with.

¤ XSPLIT. Yes, they were a sponsor. Yes, they provided stuff for the marathon. Their software is a heap of junk and I’ll be glad to be rid of it. It really, really should not be taking up to a minute to make simple changes on a machine with 12 cores, 24 threads and 48GB RAM. It just shouldn’t. That it did is utterly unacceptable. There’s a reason GDQ have gone with OBS Studio, and as soon as we can get it working on that machine we should too.

¤ Communication between tech shifts needs to improve. There’s a couple of ways to do this. Either some sort of logbook where changes to setups etc get noted, or have staggered shifts.

¤ Given some hindsight, I feel the stream would have possibly felt less empty if it were held in Hall B. Hall A had a lot of seating around the outside that was obviously empty and very hard to hide on any camera angles. Really made the room feel a lot emptier than it actually was.

Don't let all these negative points take away from the fact that as an attendee I had loads of fun at ESA this year and definitely want to come back. I think next year I want to take a more active role in tech to try and make some of these issues go away.

JoeeJoee, Niss3Niss3 and 5 others like this. 
(edited: )

Experience as a runner (selection process and actual run time)

- As a runner, I have no real complaints though the general consensus was that the selection process was a bit too long - I have no experience from submitting to other marathons but it did seem to drag out for ages. When doing the run it was fine, no tech issues, everything was good.

Experience as an attendee (arriving, checking in, venue, cleanliness, etc)

-Arrival and check in was easy. Was kinda surprised that there were no lanyards on arrival but we got them later so was fine. Someone marked me down for a 2XL shirt which I didn't request but was easily solved. A major gripe was that the stream was not on a projector. You shouldn't have to be at the couches to see the stream. The couch setup was comfy, though there was generally a lack of chairs throughout the venue. Non-speedrun material should also probably not be located in the main stream room. Having the practice area behind the stream was great but it was both hard to practice and sometimes annoying hearing the persistent shouting of people playing smash or other fighting games. I have no issue with those games though it would have been better if it was in a different room. Even during some of the runs on stream you can hear shouting in the background.

Experience volunteering at tech or hosting,

-To comment on the experience as a tech volunteer: My first tech shift was essentially being thrown into the deep end. I did not really know what to expect and how to essentially do anything. There was no guidance on how to use any of the software or hardware. Thankfully JohnUK89 stuck around to give me a steer and btrim (shoutouts to both) was able to assist but the fact that i couldn't do anything really on my own initiative or at least follow a step by step process made me feel like i was basically useless and that volunteering my time was pointless. It's not clear if i was meant to know how to use all the software (xsplit and speedcontrol) before volunteering though in that eventuality, the requirement to have this knowledge before volunteering was not specified and it should be mentioned for any future volunteering. There should be an explanation for everyone on what to do and/or information for at least general problems at the tech station.

-In one instance which I found both insulting and infuriating was to be essentially scolded like a child because "that's not the way we do things" when I was not told any of the processes to follow or how to operate anything. How am I meant to know that? Use my magic crystal ball?

Experience of accommodation (be it your hotel or mass housing).

- I stayed at the Scandic. I don't have any real major complaints about the hotel. The lack of air conditioning was noticed due to the persistent heat at the start of the week, the rooms were constantly warm. I noticed in comparison to some of the other attendees rooms that my room was substantially of lower quality. It was close to the venue which was good.

I just want to comment generally on some of the other comments from other attendees. Mainly in relation to the location of the event in general, the location of the venue and the hotel. By some of the complaints raised, people seem to want to fly into an international airport in a major city, take two steps out the door of the airport into their hotel and then another two steps out of the hotel into the venue. Those expectations are unrealistic and makes it sound like picking a venue is like throwing a dart onto a map and saying we will pick there.

I am not saying the complaints are not valid but finding a venue which can hold approx 400 people, have good internet connection, hotels nearby, mixed food outlets nearby, pubs nearby, have space for mass housing, good public transport connectivity and doesn't cost a fuck-ton to hire and cause attendee fees to ramp isn't exactly the easiest thing. In a nutshell: you can't have everything.

Generally, I hope I don't sound like I am whining. I had a good time and the event was fun. Look forward to attending in the future.

ZephyyrrZephyyrr, maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this. 
(edited: )

Experience as a runner (selection process and actual run time).
While I didn’t personally run anything this year I feel there was a healthy mix of retro, modern, pc and indie games.
Overall I feel the scheduling team came up with a solid schedule, although the selection process could’ve been made more efficient with less time between cuts and clearer information to runners.

Experience as an attendee (arriving, checking in, venue, cleanliness, etc.).
Here’s something that improved big over past years, check-in with dedicated personnel was great and went on smoothly.
The t-shirts are nice (I’d prefer to not have my butt covered with save the children, but that’s a minor complaint) and the hoodies are superb (good job planks!).

The venue itself was nice, I feel there was ample space for everything and it’s a shame hall B didn’t end up being used more, was it due to lack of communication or something else? I don’t know. It got quite hot during the first days which we can thank the ventilation for, while it worked it isn’t really made for keeping people cool.

Cleanliness was for the most great, big props to Tompa for collecting trash and shame on you who left it in the first place ¤shakes fist¤.

Chairs oh chairs, how I missed you.
This issue was brought up to the Northern Sky guys but it looked like those extra chairs all ended up being used for the LAN in the B-hall

The location of the venue was…. Okay I suppose. It makes sense to have an arena out in the industrial area but my feet really didn’t enjoy the walk downtown. I recommend everyone getting a bike if next ESA ends up being at the same venue.
It wasn’t my first time in Växjö and I still think it’s a lovely town, quite different from the bigger towns in Sweden.

Experience volunteering at tech or hosting.
The biggest issues here was communication and preparation, at least another day for setting up the racks to do some stress tests might’ve let Edenal keep his beard.

The cheat sheets for the racks were nice and comprehensive but I feel like there should’ve been a sheet for the mixer as well, all too often were the audio levels off. This was especially true when people only went by what they could hear and ignored the peak levels both on the computer and the mixer itself.

Having music play towards the latter half of the event was a nice touch (I think I requested it, might remember wrong) but as it did I felt like I had no idea how to get it back on, I knew it was a playlist through VLC on the Linux PC, but that’s also all I knew.

While I am fairly familiar with the hardware and software used I’m willing to bet it can be really intimidating for someone with no prior experience or training, especially when expected to follow certain procedures of which there was no information about said procedures.

My thoughts on hardware being used:
While the OSSC is quite nice for showing an up-scaled image on a LCD it has proven to be beyond unreliable for capture purposes, it’s a shame but those really shouldn’t be used.

I feel going all digital capture isn’t the correct choice without first investing in proper hardware which I’m guessing is quite expensive.

I’m also curious as to why the 304s weren’t being utilized, instead we had the other scalers which couldn’t handle 240p without an annoying bob?
The matrixes were great as always, keep those beautiful things around!

Experience of accommodation (be it your hotel or mass housing).
Stayed at Scandic Hotel, while the hotel was alright I feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth.
For a two bed room it was fine but I’d imagine it being really cramped for the 3-4 people rooms.

Them putting up an angry note threatening to throw us out and charge us extra for “making any noise” after 10pm was really shitty, I didn’t feel like a welcome guest at all and it did sour the overall mood.

Next year I’ll be staying at Royal Corner which overall seems to be a better choice, especially after a night downtown.

Oh and for all of you complaining about mass housing being far away, it was the next building, is it really that bothersome to walk around the corner?

Closing statement:
Overall the event was great and I had an amazing time.
There were kinks here and there but nothing that ruined my experience and I’m confident that most if not all of those will be sorted out in the future.

maralmaral and AlkoAlko like this.